Useful Astro Links
|Royal Astronomical Society||The 'Astronomical Society of London' was conceived on 12 January 1820 when 14 gentlemen sat down to dinner at the Freemason's Tavern, in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. After an unusually short gestation the new Society was born on 10 March 1820 with the first meeting of the Council and the Society as a whole. The original objectives were simply the promotion of astronomy; the newer subject of geophysics.|
|British Astronomical Association||Formed in 1890, the British Astronomical Association has an international reputation for the quality of its observational and scientific work. Membership is open to all persons interested in astronomy.|
|Society for Popular Astronomy||The SPA is for everyone. We've members of all ages and with different levels of experience. But we're especially focused on helping the beginner. So don't feel intimidated or worry that it's all over your head. We aim to make stargazing fun! Take a look round our site for inspiration about how the SPA can help YOU with your own astronomy. Don't just take our word for it. Click on the words above Society logo to discover why Brian Cox recommends you join Britain's brightest astronomical society!|
|Federation of Astronomical Societies||Formed in 1974, the Federation of Astronomical Societies was conceived as a sort of union of astronomical societies, groups, and individuals, liasing together, where practicable, for their mutual benefit. A list of federation aims was drawn up which included such items as the compilation of lists of people prepared to give talks, the encouragement of the teaching of astronomy in educational establishments, the giving of advice on problems commonly encountered by astronomical societies, and so on.|
|Southern Area Group of Astronomical Societies.||SAGAS was established in 1973 to provide a forum where Astronomical Societies across the South of England can meet to share ideas as well as discuss issues and concerns of mutual interest. By sharing ideas and experiences societies are able to inform, support and inspire each other, and further the astronomical interests of their own members.|
|European Space Agency||The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.|
|N A S A||The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.|
|UKMON||UKMON is a group of like-minded astronomers sharing a fascination with meteors. Together we operate a network of meteor detection cameras that monitor the night sky continually and recording any meteor activity.|
|Drivers: ASCOM Standards||This is the home of the ASCOM Initiative, a loosely-knit group of astronomy software developers and astronomy device manufacturers devoted to vendor-independent plug-and-play control. ASCOM is a many-to-many and language-independent architecture, supported by most astronomy devices which connect to Windows computers.|
|Drivers: EQMOD Project||The EQMOD project consists of a suite of open source applications that can provide an alternative to the hand controller on supported German Equatorial Mounts.
|Planetarium: Stellarium (Free s/w)||Stellarium is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go.|
|Planetarium: The Sky, Bisque Inc||Professional standard planetarium software with telescope control. A very comprehensive package with various levels of features and expense.|
|Observatory, Telescope & Camera Control: MaximDL||MaxIm DL is the complete integrated solution for all of your astronomical imaging needs. Whether you are collecting and analyzing science data or making beautiful portraits of the night sky, MaxIm DL includes all the tools you need.|
|Telescope & Camera Control: SGPro||Sequence Generator Pro - Manage your imaging run using equipment profiles. Stay in focus. Control of meridian flip during imaging. Target framing, plate solving, complex mosaic sequences & much more. Plus a free 45 day evaluation period & free "lite" version.|
|Guiding: PHD2 (Free s/w)||PHD2 is telescope guiding software that simplifies the process of tracking a guide star, letting you concentrate on other aspects of deep-sky imaging or spectroscopy.|
|Focusing: Focus Max||FocusMax was designed to aid astronomers in the difficult task of focusing CCD-based telescopes. FocusMax is routinely used worldwide with unattended, all-night robotic-telescope operations including, asteroid and supernova searches, astrometry, photometry, astro- imaging, and more. With the availability of motorized focusing hardware, astronomers now have the opportunity to fully automate their focusing operation.|
|Image Processing: RegiStax (Free s/w)||Registax software for alignment/stacking & processing of images.
|Image Processing: Deep Sky Stacker (Free s/w)||DeepSkyStacker is a freeware for astrophotographers that simplifies all the pre-processing steps of deep sky pictures.
Registering, stacking, & simple post-stacking processes to quickly view the final result. Saving the resulting image to a TIFF or FITS file (16 or 32 bit). (Now (2018) Open source & being rewritten for 32 & 64 OS see download page)
After a shooting night you give all your pictures (light frames, darks frames, offset/bias frames, flat frames) to DeepSkyStacker and you go to bed. The next morning (or is it afternoon?) you can see the result and start post-processing.
|Image Processing: Adobe Photoshop||Photoshop is a sophisticated image processing package that is widely used. It is also used for astronomical image processing with great effect, there are plugins specifically for astro imaging.|
|Image Processing: PixInsight||PixInsight is an advanced image processing software platform. It has been designed specifically for astrophotography and other technical imaging fields. PixInsight is a modular, open-architecture system where the entire processing and file handling capabilities are implemented as external installable modules.|
|Autostakkert||Free software to stack images captured via webcam type CCDs (AVI, MOV etc)|
|Backyard EOS & Nikon||DSLR camera control for Canon & Nikon brands - Backyard EOS & Backyard Nikon. Free trial available, from Guylain Rochon in Ottawa, Canada|
|Astro Photography Tool. Control software||Camera control software. From DSLR to CCD. Plus ASCOM telescope & filter wheel control. With free trial|
|AstroArt Camera control & processing software||Complete software package for astrophotography: image processing, astrometry, photometry, camera and telescope control.
Limited free trial available
|Astro Pixel Processor. - processing software||A new (2017) software package for astrophotography image processing. Very comprehensive preprocessing including registration, normalization, integration, calibration & mosaicing of images. Video tutorials on the website from the author & Sara Wager.
30 day free trial available.
|CCD Ware. - Control & Processing software||A modular software suite that will navigate to target & automate imaging. Allow correction of mount periodic error. Control focusers, check images for sharpness & tilt defects. Plus image processing.
30 & 60 day free trial available.
|Telescopes & Accessories: Celestron||Celestron: manufacture's web site. A very comprensive range of telescopes, mounts and accessories.|
|Telescopes & Accessories: Meade Instruments UK||Meade Instruments: manufacture's web site. A very comprensive range of telescopes, mounts and accessories.|
|Telescopes & Accessories: Sky-Watcher||Sky-Watcher: manufacture's web site. A very comprensive range of telescopes, mounts and accessories.|
|Heavens-Above||A very useful website that shows the stuff wizzing around above us. Update your location (top right of web page) to get an accurate view.|
|Clear Outside||Enter your location as a town or postcode to see what the forthcoming week looks like for observing.|
|Sat24 weather view||A 24 hour satellite view of the clouds|
|Space Weather||Current space conditions generated by our Sun.
Aurora alerts & photos.
A free site
|Satellite Tracking||A free to register satellite tracking website|
|Field of View Calculator||Various free astronomy calculators from FLO|
|Photographing Space||A series of tutorials to help you capture the universe|
|Backyard Astronomy Basics||A basic guide to get
you started in astronomy
|USB information||Some USB pitfalls highlighted by Nick Tanton|
|CfDS Good Lighting Guide||Lighting Guidelines from the Commission for Dark Skies|